Last night the Short + Sweet Theatre season wrapped for it’s tenth and last time.

I have wanted to direct a piece for Short + Sweet for years, and this year I finally got up the courage to apply. It’s been my first foray into directing solo, and I definitely felt both ready and terrified. In previous projects I have always had another person, who often had the big vision, and I just helped polish and support that vision. But this time it was all on me (well me and the actors).

Luckily the piece I chose demanded simplicity, which is definitely my jam. Just two people on stage playing and emoting with each other. I was so lucky to have two stellar actors in Raluca Botezan and Trajano Leydet, to take this new adventure with me. And their hearts shone brightly on that stage

I learnt a hell of a lot doing this. My main takeaway after watching all the weird and wonderful pieces we shared the stage with was that I have a lot to learn, but also a lot to give. It’s definitely only a beginning of my directing journey.

I am really sad that this is the last year of Short + Sweet. I only got to participate in it twice. The first time in 2013 as a performer where we did a weird, physical theatre devised piece that stuck out like a sore thumb amongst what was mostly ‘popcorn comedies’. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good popcorn comedy, but more and more look for my theatre experience to have a deeper meaning, even if it told through humor. 

This year, a week ago, when I watched the other plays, alongside ours, I was blown away. It seems that other theatre makers in Auckland are on the same wavelength - making art about things that really matter. There were some beautiful pieces that explored some really deep themes: connection, fertility, friendship, family, gender. I was so privileged for our piece to share the stage with them, and humbled by the talent and soulful stories being told. I think it makes me really excited about the art that is being made in this city at the moment.

-Prema Cottingham